Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Party Time!

Recently, I was blessed to celebrate my birthday with some amazing people!
Some new friends, some friends for many beautiful years, but all treasured.

Ultimately, the purpose was to fellowship with friends and thank each on of them for touching my heart with their life.  But, what to serve?  The standard chips and queso dip, wings, cheese cubes?  No!  

You can have a party with clean food and have an enjoyable time.  As a matter of fact, may people commented on how tasty everything was. I really wish I would have take a picture before the festivities began, but, friends started arriving, and who could blame a girl for wanting to spend time with friends!

Here is what we served:

Chicken Sate with Peanut Dipping Sauce
(use organic tamari sauce instead of fish sauce, unless you can find organic fish sauce, and tamari sauce instead of soy sauce and use palm sugar instead of brown sugar)

Southwest Three Bean Dip

Homemade Hummus
(dried chickpeas much it much, much creamier, and half the tahini sauce!)

Fresh Summer Rolls
(actually ended up ordering these from a local Thai restaurant as I ran out of time.
I use chicken instead of shrimp and use Tamari sauce instead of soy, and honey instead of sugar)

Cilantro Lime Sweet Potato Wedges
(you need to scroll down a big, but there are some other yummy recipes there!)

Antipasto Sausage Skewers
(make SURE to use all natural sausage with no nitrates or nitrites)

Cherry Tomatoes stuffed with Chicken Apple Salad
(these were a little bland at first, so I added a little salt, extra lemon juice and a little smoked paprika, I
use canola oil mayonnaise)

Also had many celery sticks, carrot sticks, sweet pepper sticks, and radishes on hand for dipping, along with gluten-free crackers.

Oven Roasted Salsa with 
Organic Blue Corn Tortilla chips
(my own recipe, many people asked for it!)

10-12 Roma tomatoes (depending on size), halved
1 Anaheim chili pepper, halved
2 Poblano peppers, halved
1-2 jalapeño peppers, with seeds (depending on how spicy you want it)
1 red onion, quartered
4 cloves garlic, smashed
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
juice of 1lime (or 2 if you want it a little more bite)
pink Himalayan sea salt and pepper to taste

1. Place tomatoes, peppers, red onion, and garlic cut side down on a roasting pan, or 1/2 sheet, roast in oven until tops are charred.
2.  Remove from onion and let cool, then place in a food processor with remaining ingredients and process until not large chunks remain.  If it is thicker than you you desire, add a little water and process.  
3.  Enjoy!

Strawberry "Cheesecake"
[this needed a little more flavor,
so I tripled the amount of lemon and doubled the
"liquid sweetener (but used 1/2 honey and 1/2 maple syrup)]

This cake represents a doubled recipe

Last, but certainly not least, 
(we used diet Hansen's instead of making a simple syrup and club soda,
and multiplied by 20 and just put it all in a drink dispenser)

Already looking forward to next year!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

"Bourbon" Chicken

I stumbled across THIS recipe for Slow Cooker Bourbon Chicken on Pinterest.  It sounded easy and tasty, always great attributes.  However, I made a few changes to make it a little healthier.  Here is what I did:

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 clove of smashed and diced garlic
1 teaspoon if fresh, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup apple juice (please use all natural organic juice, apples have a pesticide residues and a lot of      other juices add sugars)
1tablespoon maple syrup
1/4 cup palm (coconut palm) sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup Tamari sauce

1.  Mix all ingredients, except cornstarch
2.  Place the chicken breasts (may be frozen) in the crockpot
3.  Pour sauce over chicken breasts and cook on low 4-6 hours, chicken should be shreddable  
4.  Take chicken out of crockpot and shred with 2 forks 
5.  Mix cornstarch with 1/4 cup of the sauce, pour back into crockpot and mix until sauce starts to thicken
6.  Return chicken to the crockpot and keep warm until ready to serve.

Why these changes?  Fresh ingredients are going to be better as they are processed less, so use fresh ginger and garlic, if you can.  Even organic ketchup has A LOT of sugar and, although organic, probably very refined sugars.  Soy sauce has wheat in it, and although I am not gluten-free, I try to avoid it as best I can as regular flour is highly processed.  Also, want to have options for my gluten-free friends out there!  

This chicken would be great topped on field greens, with brown rice, or pasta.  Or, on its own topped with avocado and tomato.  

Hope you enjoy it!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

dressing with a zip!

Next time you walk down the condiment isle of your local grocery store check out the ingredients on the back of some of the salad dressings.  No doubt there will be chemicals, and/or preservatives.  Even organic salad dressing can be loaded with refined sugars and sodium, plus super expensive!  

So, why not make your own, out of healthy, whole ingredients... sometimes it is the details that make all the difference!  Why waste a delicious and healthy salad with an unhealthy dressing?  

AAHHHHH!  May it never be!

Here is my current favorite dressing.  And, is it ever packed with a tangy zip!  Here is a recipe so easy that it can be made quicker than trying to open the safety seal on store-bought dressings!  

Honey-Mustard Vinagrete

What you are going to need:

1/4 C spicy-brown mustard
1/4 C apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice if you do not want it quite so "tangy")
2T olive oil
2T sesame oil
2T honey (or more if you want it a little sweeter)
1T water
1t ground ginger, or 1/2t shredded raw ginger
1/2t pink Himalayan salt
1 tsp sesame seeds (optional)

You may mix it in a bowl, but I put it in a jam jar, shake it up, until all the honey has been incorporated,  and it is ready to go and already in a storage container!  Easy Peasy!  I will last about a week or so in the refrigerator, but I doubt it will last that long!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Wholesome Crackers

There is really no nutritional value, but all that other stuff?  Hydrogenated oils are terrible for you, as is high fructose corn syrup (surely GMO), soy lecithin, and natural flavors (does not even have to be an actual natural item, the flavor is just "natural"; this phrase is completely unregulated by the FDA).

Think Wheat Thins would be better?  The word "wheat" is in the title, they have to be right?  Here is the ingredients, (take from HERE): 



I am very happy to see that they do not use hydrogenated oils any more, but there is added sugar, malt syrup (another sugar) and BHT?  YUM, chemicals!  

Instead, take about 5-10 minutes to make your OWN crackers!  

I found a great recipe from an app call The Whole Pantry.  You can get it HERE!

Bean and Flax Chips
1 cup buckwheat groats
1 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup flax (linseed) seeds
1 can organic cannelloni (or Great Northern) beans, drained and washed
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon sea salt
1/2 tablespoon chili pepper flakes
juice of 1 lime
1/2 tablespoon cumin powder

Step 1: place the buckwheat in a blow and cover with water and a pinch of sea salt.
Step 2: place sunflower and flax sees in a separate bowl and cover with water and a pinch of salt.
Step 3: soak both for 2-7 hours (this process removes enzyme inhibitors that disrupt digestion; it is recommended, but optional).
Step 4: preheat oven to 140
Step 5: rinse buckwheat and add to the bowl of a food processor with the beans.  Process until smooth.  
Step 6: rinse the sunflower and flax seeds and add them to the food processor along with the remaining ingredients. 
Mine looked like this: 

Step 7: line two 1/2 sheets with parchment paper and spread the mixture across evenly
Step 8: bake for about 2 hours... cooking time will depend on the thickness of your batter, so just check them periodically until crispy.  Let them cool and break apart.

It sounds like a lot of work, but most of the work is just waiting.  
Best part is, you know what is in them, and they are filled with protein, no wheat, no gluten, no dairy or animal products, just wholesome goodness.  

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Time for Lunch!

Want a quick and delicious lunch, bursting with nutrition and flavor?

I sure do! Nachos! What, HEALTHY nachos?  How is this possible?

This is one of my all-time favorite lunches, and might I add, quick and easy!  

Here is what you will need:
1 serving organic, non-gmo tortilla chips
1 13oz can natural chicken breast
1T cumin
1/4C water
1t chili power
1t corriander
pink Himalayan salt and pepper to taste

1/2 soft-to-touch avocado
1 T chopped cilantro
1T chopped onions
1 Roma tomato 
1T chopped jalapeño peppers
1t lime juice
 2T "cheese" sauce, warmed 
("cheese" is optional, but gluten, dairy and soy free! It has a umami flavor, but does not taste like cheese, however, it is much better for you and also pairs well with this dish)

Open and drain can of chicken and empty in to your pan, break apart chicken and add water and seasonings and stir until chicken is covered with spices.  Cook over medium heat until warmed throughout.  

Smash avocado with the back of a fork and add the cilantro, onions, tomato, jalapeño, lime juice and salt and pepper and combine.

Assemble by spreading the chips on the plate followed by only about 1/2C of the chicken mixture, drizzle on the "cheese" sauce and then the guacamole.  

I hope you love it as much as I do! Do not be worried about the "fat" in the avocado!  Avocados are so good for you.  Personally, I eat 1/2-1 avocado a day.  

Please note, if you do not like a lot of spice, omit the jalapeño pepper and reduce all seasonings by 1/2. This recipe serves one, but makes enough chicken for 3-4 servings, so either save it for later lunches, or multiply the cheese and guacamole ingredients for additional servings.  

dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free 

Thursday, January 15, 2015


Probably our family's most used recipe.... popcorn!  Please, please, please, do not buy "microwave" popcorn!  It is so bad for you... just google microwave popcorn risks, or dangers and you'll find that those products are coated with chemicals that are KNOWN carcinogens, KNOWN carcinogens, can you believe it?

Anyway, this family loves popcorn and this is how we make it in our house, in about 5 minutes.

Here is what you need:

Organic Coconut Oil (has a high smoke point)
popcorn (we use organic, non-gmo)
Himalayan Pink Sea Salt

Coconut oil is stable at room temperature, but melts very quickly.  
Turn your burner to high and use enough coconut oil to coat the bottom of your pan,
we use about 1/2 T, you do not need a lot!
If after it melts, the bottom is not coated, at another 1/2 t, or so, until it is coated.  

Next, add enough popcorn to cover the bottom of your pan.  
Our pan takes 1/2 C.

Finally, PUT THE LID ON!
Ha, you would eventually figure this out on your own, but, just in case.
Give the pan a few shakes to coat the kernels.
Soon, the popping will commence!  

When the popping slows down to only 1 pop every 5 seconds or so, 
remove it from the burner and pour into bowls and sprinkle with salt.

See? Toddler tested AND approved!

Of course, you may put a little butter, if you think it still needs it, but, PLEASE use actual butter, not margarine, or butter spread.... again, chemicals.  Trust me, the fat us much better for you than those chemicals.  

Instead of butter, however, you might want to try a little squeeze of a lemon, or hot sauce, or some apple cider vinegar, or add a spice like cumin.... so many options! Just make sure whatever you top on that yummy popcorn is natural, not natural flavorings, but an actual natural substance.  

Oh, and if you REALLY think you need to use that microwave, put about 1/4 C popcorn into a brown paper lunch bag, roll down the top, put it in the microwave for several minutes. As soon as the popping lessens, remove, pour and top with your favorite toppings. But the stove-top version is MUCH better!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015


Popular is not always usually what is. As much as possible, make sure that your bread is made with whole-wheat flour, not just wheat flour. Also, look for the other chemicals that are in you bread? A report from the Environmental Working Group finds that the compound, azodicarbonamide (same chemical is yoga mats), is found in close to 500 food products, from Pillsbury Dinner Rolls to Little Debbie products to Wonder Bread. My favorite, and usually only bread I eat, is Ezekiel 4:9 made with sprouted grains. bread:

Oh, and processed meats.... that is another post, in short.... they are terrible for you.’s-25-best-chain-sandwich-shops/ss-BBh0Jvs#image=25